The grey of dripping dusk sounds forth an invitation to innocence. It extends its grey hand with a slight tremble and a quiet recognition of the disparity between its own chill and the warmth of the impending guest. Innocence reciprocates like a slow glance around the doorway that leads to a dim room, holding promises not only of marvelous wonder, but also of looming danger. And the allure of wonder prevails.
The above quote is from the MySpace page of The Woodlands and cannot better convey the atmosphere that oozes from the duo’s debut album that has just been released. The album is absolutely an ethereal trip through some of the best indie folk pop you will find (or I have ever found). I admit I have been waiting for this album for months and have been back and forth with both Hannah and Samuel about the project. The couple (both in music and in life) are like proud parents with their self titled album – I have badgered them about tracks to post previously as I have had some demos for a few months, but they know the importance of the debut and I held off. Now I know why.
The album consists of 10 songs of which each have their own personality, but clearly walk along the same path. This album feels very personal and almost like it was a long time coming, even for the band themselves. They have taken a keen and specific ear to the album and have waited until fully complete to unleash it to the world. Many artists can release a debut too early in order to get their music out there and to start to build their future as musicians. This is not the case with this album, it is a magnificent collection of ambient folk lullabies complete with Samuel’s acoustic guitar song crafting and Hannah’s angelic voice. I have to say the signature sound would be considered Hannah’s breathy vocals, while not for everyone, they can compel you down the paths of this album. The songs are created from a mostly acoustic affair, with many accents of violin (performed live by Josh Pew), piano and an ever present and surprisingly organic keyboard wallpaper. The songs feel of another world, with plucked strings, hand claps and warmth meant for something between the lands of some fabled far off land and your woodsy campfire on a starry night. This is feel good music – take a listen below to a stream of two songs and the download for “Summerland”.
*You will want to visit You Crazy Dreamers today as well for Olivier’s post on the very same album (we are basically having “dueling posts”) as it is a new favourite around both our homes. I for one am looking forward to seeing this Portland duo when they swing through the Calgary/Canmore area this summer!
The Woodlands – “Asleep In September”:| Play in Popup
The Woodlands – “King And Queen”:| Play in Popup